robertogreco + unstructuredtime   19

What Kids Need From Grown-Ups (But Aren't Getting) : NPR Ed : NPR
"Q: What is this phenomenon that you call "the preschool paradox"?

A: It is the reality that science is confirming on a daily basis: that children are hardwired to learn in many settings and are really very capable, very strong, very intelligent on the one hand. On the other hand, the paradox is that many young children are doing poorly in our early education settings.

We've got a growing problem of preschool expulsions, a growing problem of children being medicated off-label for attention problems. We have a lot of anecdotal evidence that parents are frustrated and feeling overburdened. So that's what interests me: What is going on?

We have very crammed [preschool] schedules with rapid transitions. We have tons of clutter on classroom walls. We have kids moving quickly from one activity to another. We ask them to sit in long and often boring meetings. Logistically and practically, lives are quite taxing for little kids because they're actually living in an adult-sized world.

On the other hand, curriculum is often very boring. A staple of early childhood curriculum is the daily tracking of the calendar. And this is one of those absolute classic mismatches, because one study showed that, after a whole year of this calendar work where kids sit in a circle and talk about what day they're on, half the kids still didn't know what day they were on. It's a mismatch because it's both really hard and frankly very stupid.

We're underestimating kids in terms of their enormous capacity to be thoughtful and reflective, and, I would argue, that's because we're not giving them enough time to play and to be in relationships with others.

Q: Why do you think so many educators and policymakers have come to see play and learning as mutually exclusive?

A: Yeah, it's incredibly weird — this fake dichotomy. The science is so persuasive on this topic. There's all kinds of research coming not only from early childhood but animal research looking at mammals and how they use play for learning.

I think there are two answers. There really has been tremendous anxiety about closing achievement gaps between advantaged and less advantaged children. You know, we're always as a society looking for quick fixes that might close those gaps. Unfortunately, it's had downstream consequences for early learning, where we're going for superficial measures of learning.

I think the other problem is that the rich, experience-based play that we know results in learning — it's not as easy to accomplish as people think. And that's because, while the impulse to play is natural, what I call the play know-how really depends on a culture that values play, that gives kids the time and space to learn through play.

Q: What does playful learning look like?

A: Playful learning is embedded in relationships and in things that are meaningful to children. I use the example of the iconic [handprint] Thanksgiving turkey. When you really get into what's behind those cutesy crafts, a lot of curriculum is organized around these traditions, things around the calendar, things that are done because they've always been done.

When you look at how kids learn, they learn when something is meaningful to them, when they have a chance to learn through relationships — and that, of course, happens through play. But a lot of our curriculum is organized around different principles.

It's organized around the comfort and benefit of adults and also reflexive: "This is cute," or, "We've always done this." A lot of the time, as parents, we are trained to expect products, cute projects. And I like to say that the role of art in preschool or kindergarten curriculum should be to make meaning, not necessarily things. But it's hard to get parents to buy into this idea that their kids may not come home with the refrigerator art because maybe they spent a week messing around in the mud.

Preschool teachers are very interested in fine motor skills, and so often they think that these tracing and cutting activities [are important]. I would argue that those are not the most important skills that we need to foster.

Q: What are the most important skills we need to foster?

A: I think the No. 1 thing is that children need to feel secure in their relationships because, again, we're social animals. And children learn through others. So I think the No. 1 thing is for kids to have a chance to play, to make friends, to learn limits, to learn to take their turn.

Q: You're talking about soft skills, non-cognitive skills ...

A: I actually won't accept the term non-cognitive skills.

Q: Social-emotional skills?

A: I would say social-emotional skills. But, again, there's a kind of simplistic notion that there's social-emotional skills on the one hand ...

Q: And academics on the other ...

A: Right, and I would argue that many so-called academic skills are very anti-intellectual and very uncognitive. Whereas I think a lot of the social-emotional skills are very much linked to learning.

I think the biggest one is the use of language. When kids are speaking to one another and listening to one another, they're learning self-regulation, they're learning vocabulary, they're learning to think out loud. And these are highly cognitive skills. But we've bought into this dichotomy again. I would say "complex skills" versus "superficial" or "one-dimensional skills."

To give you an example, watching kids build a fort is going to activate more cognitive learning domains than doing a worksheet where you're sitting at a table. The worksheet has a little pile of pennies on one side and some numbers on the other, and you have to connect them with your pencil. That's a very uni-dimensional way of teaching skills.

Whereas, if you're building a fort with your peers, you're talking, using higher-level language structures in play than you would be if you're sitting at a table. You're doing math skills, you're doing physics measurement, engineering — but also doing the give-and-take of, "How do I get along? How do I have a conversation? What am I learning from this other person?" And that's very powerful.

Q: What is high-quality preschool to you?

A: The research base is pretty clear. I'll start by telling you what it isn't. We start by looking at two variables. One set are called "structural variables" — things like class size, student-teacher ratios, or even the square-footage of the classroom and what kinds of materials are in the classroom.

And then there are so-called process variables, which are different. They tend to be more about teaching style. Is the teacher a responsive teacher? Does she use a responsive, warm, empathic teaching style? And then the other key process variable is: Does the teacher have knowledge of child development? And is that teacher able to translate that child development knowledge into the curriculum?

Q: Which seems like a hard thing to measure.

A: It's actually not. And there are many good measures — things like: Is the teacher on the floor with the child? Is the teacher asking open-ended questions? You know: "Tell me about your picture" versus "Oh, cute house, Bobby." It's actually not that hard to measure.

But here's the thing. The structural variables are easier to regulate. And, if you have a workforce problem where you're not paying teachers well and a pipeline problem where there aren't good career paths to get into teaching, it's much easier for us to focus on the structural variables when those have an indirect effect only. The direct effect is the process variables.

My colleague Walter Gilliam at Yale has come up with this wonderful mental health classroom climate scale, which really looks at these process variables in very granular detail — so, not only looking at the interactions between the teachers and the children but how the teachers are interacting with each other.

Q: You mount a spirited defense of unscheduled kid time [at home]. Less shuttling to and from sports practice, dance practice, swim lessons. Be sure, you say, to give your child time to sit on the floor and stare at the ceiling if that's what they want to do. I know a lot of parents who would find that view heretical.

A: That's because we don't have faith in young children. And we don't really have faith in ourselves. And we've been programmed to believe that the more enrichments we can add on [the better].

I think boredom can be a friend to the imagination. Sometimes when kids appear to be bored, actually they haven't had enough time to engage in something. We quickly whisk it away and move them along to the next thing. And that's when you say, "How can I help the child to look at this in a new way? To try something new, to be patient."

You've really kind of adultified childhood so kids really don't have those long, uninterrupted stretches of time to engage in fantasy play. And because we've kind of despoiled the habitat of early childhood, a lot of times they don't know what to do when given that time. So we kind of have to coach them.

I think there's a little bit of a repair process that we need to engage in. Because if you've got a kid who's used to going to a million lessons and only uses toys that have one way of using them and then, suddenly, you put them in a room with a bunch of boxes and blocks and say, "Have fun!", the kid's gonna say, "Are you kidding me? What?!""



"Now, I do want to be clear: There are all kinds of ways to respond to being hurt, including filing a police report, reporting to your supervisor or professor or RA in a dorm, talking with your friends, ignoring. To me, I think the social norming piece is really important because I believe we put way too much faith in these administrative guidelines, "suggestions."

Is that really how behavior change happens? I don't know. I think for some things, absolutely, legal recourse makes a difference. But for other things, I think, peer norming is highly effective, and to me, Halloween costumes would be in that category.

We can't … [more]
children  education  play  unstructuredtime  learning  preschool  school  curriculum  howwelearn  rules  structure  lcproject  openstudioproject  conversation  norms  behavior  howweteach  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  listening  coryturner  erikachristakis  relationships  boredom  imagination  parenting  guidelines  process  empathy  policy  transitions  sfsh 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Dear America: If you love kids, let your schools show your affection. - Taught by Finland
"I told them about how Finnish first and second graders have about four hours of school every day, which is more like a half-day back in the United States. Not only that, but kids in Finland have a 15-minute break built into every hour of instruction (more on that later); this means that a 4-hour school day involves just three hours of classroom time for first and second graders! This is incredible news to American parents and teachers, but it’s even more amazing to Italians. I spoke with one parent who told me that her daughter, a student at a public elementary school in Bologna, does 8-hour school days (8:00 am to 4:00 pm) with barely any time for recess. Oh. My. And I used to think that a typical schedule at an American elementary school was too much for kids!

The Finnish approach of providing less academic instruction to young kids is sensible. As students in Finland grow older, they generally spend more hours at school. For example, my sixth graders are in school about six hours every day compared with the four they used to have as first and second graders. 7- and 8-year-olds thrive on shorter school days because they need lots of time for free play. Sixth graders, not as much.

When you are in school for eight hours (or even six), there is little time and energy to play afterwards. School this long can easily kill creativity, not necessarily by what happens during lessons, but by the space it takes up in the lives of young children. Research has shown that kids only start to enter a deeper level of play—where creativity and problem-solving skills develop—after 30 minutes of uninterrupted free time. If you’re a young American and Italian student, these long stretches of free play are non-existent in schools, so the only hope is that you’d have time after the school day. But that’s unlikely to happen when you’re flat-out exhausted, your homework is burning a hole in your backpack and your bedtime is just a couple of hours from when you return home.

Finns—who are typically reserved—may not be pinching and coddling babies on the street, but they’re making sure that their children are getting what they need at school. Sometimes this looks like keeping the school day short for young kids. Of course, my argument hinges on the assumption that 7- and 8-year-old Finns are spending their after school hours engaged in free play, not structured tasks like private tutoring and organized sports (as is common practice in the United States).

In January of this year, I wanted to see how most of the first and second graders at my school were using their free time after school. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t just thinking wishfully that Finnish kids were playing deeply after their last class. I wasn’t disappointed. For three hours, I attended their iltapäivä kerho (“afternoon club”)—a subsidized public program that enrolls 70% of the first and second graders at my school—that was exclusively play-oriented. The adult supervisors told me that they don’t even encourage the kids to complete their meager amounts of homework before they head home at 4:00 pm because they believe young children just need time to play with their friends. And that’s exactly what I saw these 7- and 8-year-olds doing: playing dress-up, building with legos and drawing.

As I mentioned earlier, Finnish kids are entitled to take a 15-minute break for every 45 minutes of instruction. Finland takes this so seriously that it’s even guaranteed by law. While I was visiting Rome, I was told that typically Italian high school students get just 10-minutes of break every day (and they’re expected to eat during this time)! On top of this, they will spend most of the school day in just one classroom; teachers come to them. Meanwhile, kids in Finland—young and old—receive 15-minute unstructured breaks throughout the school day and they have the opportunity to slip outside for fresh air during these times, even when it’s freezing.

Obviously, these 15-minute breaks are not long enough to provide young students with time for deep play, but they’re just long enough to refocus children. So, first and second graders in Finland are putting in three hours of high-quality classroom work every morning—because they’re paced by frequent breaks—and in the afternoon, they’re playing deeply throughout the entire afternoon. That’s a pretty sweet deal for kids.

But the case of Italy still befuddles me. They clearly love children but their schools—with their long and nearly recess-less school days—do not show evidence of their affection. I feel the same way about many American public elementary schools. We say we love children (and I know, deep down, we do) and yet, we send our kids to kindergarten at the age of five and they receive full-day academic instruction. We give young children just 20-minutes or so of recess for an entire school day. We throw dozens of standardized tests at our kids, starting in third grade or even younger, narrowing their curriculum and stressing them out, along with their teachers. We require young American kids to attend school each day for nearly twice as long as young Finnish children, leaving them with little time and energy for play after school.

By providing things like frequent breaks, shorter school days and less standardized tests, Finnish schools are not doing anything particularly innovative. This tiny Nordic country is simply making sensible decisions that support the wellbeing of all children. And when you stop to think about it, this is exactly what all school systems should be doing."
finland  education  schedules  scheduling  classtime  recess  2014  timwalker  lcproject  openstudioproject  play  freeplay  unschooling  deschooling  policy  us  italy  schools  teaching  learning  howwelearn  unstructuredtime  openstudio 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Welcome to the Age of Overparenting - Boston Magazine - bostonmagazine.com
"…pushing kids can be just as bad for them as attending to their every desire…children of upper-class, highly educated parents…are increasingly anxious & depressed. Children with “high perfectionist strivings” were likely to see achievement failures as personal failures…being constantly shuttled between activities…ends up leaving suburban adolescents feeling more isolated from parents.

…while today’s middle- & upper-middle-class children have an unprecedented array of opportunities, their experiences are often manufactured by us…Nearly everything they do is orchestrated, if not by their parents, then by some other adult…But their experiences aren’t very rich in the messier way — in those moments of unfettered abandon when part of the thrill is the risk of harm, hurt feelings, or struggle. In our attempt to manage & support every moment of our children’s lives, they become something that belongs to us, not them.

[ http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/the_age_of_overparenting/ ]
parenting  children  stress  anxiety  anxiousparenting  helicopterparenting  helicopterparents  2011  caroldweck  petergray  suniyaluthar  behavior  messiness  play  unstructuredtime  learning  life  overparenting  unschooling  deschooling  freedom  independence  education  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
Occupy your classroom « Cooperative Catalyst
"If you would occupy your statehouse to keep your job, pay, and benefits, please also consider occupying your classroom.

Give your students at least a day a week to follow their passions.
Get rid of your furniture. Help kids borrow, bring, or build their own.
Get rid of your textbooks. Or redact them.
Ask kids to make sense of the world as it happens across media and technologies.
Build communities instead of reinforcing expectations.

It will be very scary, but not as scary as what others face. It will be very uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as remaining silent. It will cost us some, but without making some sacrifice we shouldn’t expect or ask our students to save us or our world."
chadsansing  education  occupywallstreet  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  community  media  technology  activism  textbooks  schooldesign  lcproject  learning  furniture  google20%  unstructuredtime  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
Sitting around « Re-educate Seattle
"I visited an awesome progressive school today. The thing that was most impressive was this: there were kids all over the place who were doing absolutely nothing productive.

That may sound strange, but I think it’s the defining characteristic of a progressive school. Having anti-racist values or an environmental curriculum don’t make your school progressive. It’s not about your lesson plans, it’s the structure of the educational environment that makes all the difference…

A lot of schools talk about lifelong learning and nurturing curiosity, but when they stand at the edge of that precipice—what happens if we give students freedom to direct their own learning, and they just sit around?—they refuse to jump…

It takes patience. It takes faith. But sometimes, you have to let kids just sit around and do nothing. It’s in those moments when they’re learning the lesson they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives: I am in charge of my own education."
pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  tcsnmy  lcproject  progressive  teaching  education  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  agency  empowerment  learning  schools  unstructuredtime  productivity  stevemiranda  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Stump The Teacher: Innovation Day 2011
"Today was the actual “Innovative Day” as students came to school with their supplies, resources, and an abundance of enthusiasm. We broke the students into working areas based on their topics of choice and the resources needed. There was a section for building, art, music, technology, videos, cooking, physical education, and more. Variety was the name of the game as there were over 200 different learning projects being worked on over the course of the day. Many students were working independently but there were plenty of learning groups that developed throughout the day as well. Students started helping each other with projects and ended up learning more than they even originally planned. Here is just a sample of the great work that was done."
unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  cv  openstudio  interestdriven  studentdirected  tcsnmy  teaching  learning  schools  curriculumisdead  curriculum  innovationday  2011  students  google20%  unstructuredtime  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Don’t tell me what you’re passionate about « Re-educate Seattle
"School can help facilitate this process. One of the best things we can do is to give kids autonomy in how they spend their time, including time in which they’re not required to do anything in particular.

As educators we can stand back & observe how they spend that time. Students will fill those unscheduled slots w/ activities that give them joy. (This is the part that many people have a hard time believing. They think kids are lazy & unless they’re told what to do, they’ll just sit around…not true.) Then we don’t have to ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Instead, we can say things like, “I’ve noticed you’re spending a lot of time drawing superhero characters. Would you like to meet a professional illustrator?”

The way traditional schools are structured causes kids miss out on these opportunities. They spend their days sitting through required classes, then it’s home to decompress from the stress of school w/ video games or YouTube videos, then it’s homework time…"
openstudio  unschooling  deschooling  stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  progressive  democratic  freeschools  autonomy  motivation  choice  entrepreneurship  identity  self  productivity  google20%  education  schools  schooliness  trust  learning  teaching  passion  unstructuredtime  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Running Head: Self-Directed Student Attitudes (JUAL)
[Quote references: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct01/vol59/num02/The-Benefits-of-Exploratory-Time.aspx ]

"…also less tangible benefits of self-directed learning. Wolk outlines the benefits of exploratory time, which he defines as an hour or more per day in which students pursue projects & topics of their own choosing. Among these benefits he states that exploratory time "nurtures a love for learning, encourages meaningful learning through intrinsic motivation, creates true communities of learners, nurtures creativity, develops self-esteem & celebrates uniqueness"…Wolk recommends teachers turn over at least 20% of school day to students in order to achieve these benefits. He states that trusting students is paramount to the success of such time. "We must trust that students have educational & intellectual interests & curiosities, deeply meaningful questions about the world, & an innate desire to know & understand. We must trust that students want to learn & that they are willing to work hard in that learning. The next step is ours. We must give them time to own their learning"…"
stevenwolk  schools  openstudio  google20%  unstructuredtime  learning  self-directedlearning  tcsnmy  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  sudburyschools  sudbury  progressive  freeschools  democratic  children  intrinsicmotivation  lcproject  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Thoughts on Google’s 20% time « Scott Berkun
Google’s 20% time is more of an attitude and culture than a rule…It’s worth noting that people at Google work very hard on their 80% time. It’s not as if every Friday is 20% day and work shuts down on all existing projects so people can do their 20% things…The 20% time concept isn’t new. 3M developed a 15% time rule in the 1950s with the same exact intentions and basic philosophy. Masking tape and Post-it notes are two notable products that were concieved and developed by individual engineers working without formal budgets, plans or management support…the Google founders mention at their talk at TED that Montessori school philosophy influenced their ideas on 20% time…Google’s culture has a resistance, or even distrust, of hierarchy – they often use voting, peer review, and debate to make decisions or decide which new projects and features to add."
google  innovation  management  productivity  culture  google20%  tcsnmy  openstudio  lcproject  freedom  autonomy  authority  montessori  3m  work  philosophy  creativity  unschooling  unstructuredtime  via:rushtheiceberg  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s man behind Mario : The New Yorker
"Miyamoto has told variations on the cave story a few times over the years, in order to emphasize the extent to which he was surrounded by nature, as a child, and also to claim his youthful explorations as a source of his aptitude and enthusiasm for inventing and designing video games."

"The Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, in his classic 1938 study “Homo Ludens” (“Man the Player”), argued that play was one of the essential components of culture—that it in fact predates culture, because even animals play. His definition of play is instructive. One, play is free—it must be voluntary. Prisoners of war forced to play Russian roulette are not at play. Two, it is separate; it takes place outside the realm of ordinary life and is unserious, in terms of its consequences. A game of chess has no bearing on your survival (unless the opponent is Death). Three, it is unproductive; nothing comes of it—nothing of material value, anyway. Plastic trophies, plush stuffed animals, and bragging rights cannot be monetized. Four, it follows an established set of parameters and rules, and requires some artificial boundary of time and space. Tennis requires lines and a net and the agreement of its participants to abide by the conceit that those boundaries matter. Five, it is uncertain; the outcome is unknown, and uncertainty can create opportunities for discretion and improvisation. In Hyrule, you may or may not get past the Deku Babas, and you can slay them with your own particular panache.

The French intellectual Roger Caillois, in a 1958 response to Huizinga entitled “Man, Play and Games,” called play “an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money.” Therein lies its utility, as a simulation that exists outside regular life. Caillois divides play into four categories: agon (competition), alea (chance), mimicry (simulation), and ilinx (vertigo). Super Mario has all four. You are competing against the game, trying to predict the seemingly random flurry of impediments it sets in your way, and pretending to be a bouncy Italian plumber in a realm of mushrooms and bricks. As for vertigo, what Caillois has in mind is the surrender of stability and the embrace of panic, such as you might experience while skiing. Mario’s dizzying rate of passage through whatever world he’s in—the onslaught of enemies and options—confers a kind of vertigo on the gaming experience. Like skiing, it requires a certain degree of mastery, a countervailing ability to contend with the panic and reassert a measure of stability. In short, the game requires participation, and so you can call it play.

Caillois also introduces the idea that games range along a continuum between two modes: ludus, “the taste for gratuitous difficulty,” and paidia, “the power of improvisation and joy.” A crossword puzzle is ludus. Kill the Carrier is paidia (unless you’re the carrier). Super Mario and Zelda seem to be perched right between the two."
games  nintendo  miyamoto  shigerumiyamoto  design  art  inspiration  videogames  childhood  exploration  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  wonder  children  play  unstructuredtime  gaming  mario  japan  history  edg  srg  glvo  unschooling  deschooling  topost  toshare  classideas  narratology  ludology  adventure  rogercaillois  johanhuizinga  work  gamification  asobi  funware  music  guitar  self-improvement  kyokan  empathy  collaboration  japanese  jesperjuul  janemcgonigal  animals  focusgroups  gamedesign  experience  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
If we try to engineer perfect children, will they grow up to be unbearable? - By Katie Roiphe - Slate Magazine
"In the long sticky hours of boredom, in the lonely, unsupervised, unstructured time, something blooms; it was in those margins that we became ourselves…our new ethos of control…contains a vision of right-minded child rearing that is in its own enlightened way as exclusive & conformist…Built into this model of the perfectible child is, of course, an inevitable failure. You can't control everything, the universe offers up rogue moments that will make your child unhappy or sick or ­broken-hearted, there will be faithless friends & failed auditions & bad teachers…All I am suggesting is that it might be time to stand back, pour a drink, & let the children ­torment, or bore or injure each other a little. It might be time to dabble in the laissez faire; to let the imagination run to art instead of art projects; to let the imperfect universe & its imperfect ­children be themselves." [Read it all.]
parenting  children  imperfection  learning  identity  boredom  supervision  control  unschooling  deschooling  perfection  failure  happiness  unhappiness  risk  risktaking  laissezfaire  imagination  glvo  self  teaching  cv  unstructuredtime  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
How To Raise A Superstar [If true, this is huge endorsement of small, progressive schools where the emphasis is not on competition, but on exposure, experience, and unstructured time, where all students are given the chance to participate.]
"smaller cities offer more opportunities for unstructured play…to hone general coordination, power, & athletic skills. These longer hours of play also allow kids to experience successes (& failures) in different settings…likely toughens their attitudes in general…important advantage of small towns…actually less competitive…allowing kids to sample & explore many different sports. (I grew up in big city,…sports career basically ended at 13. I could no longer compete w/ other kids my age.) While conventional wisdom assumes it’s best to focus on single sport ASAP, & compete in most rigorous arena…probably a mistake, both for psychological & physical reasons…While deliberate practice remains absolutely crucial, it’s important to remember that most important skills we develop at early age are not domain specific…real importance of early childhood has to do w/ development of general cognitive & non-cognitive traits, such as self-control, patience, grit, & willingness to practice"
jonahlehrer  children  childhood  biology  learning  cognition  education  sports  psychology  practice  tigerwoods  performance  competition  urban  rural  tcsnmy  confidence  persistence  self-control  patience  grit  self-confidence  athletics  athletes  variety  toshare  topost  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  sampling  malcolmgladwell  burnout  specialization  generalists  coordination  success  failure  play  unstructuredtime  specialists  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Is true friendship dying away? - USATODAY.com
"Of course, we learn how to make friends — or not — in our most formative years, as children. Recent studies on childhood, & how the contemporary life of the child affects friendships, are illuminating. Again, the general mood is one of concern, & a central conclusion often reached relates to a lack of what is called "unstructured time."
friendship  media  technology  social  socialnetworking  relationships  unstructuredtime  children  parenting  time  slow  meaning  whatmatters  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  value  well-being 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Learning in Maine: Childhood & Play
'"He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though--and loathed him." ~The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
play  children  marktwain  tomsawyer  childhood  learning  unstructuredtime  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Tinker's Mind: Education, Attention, and Maker Time
"led me to think of what Matt Dugener...and the culture we have in this state towards entrepreneurs and enterprising individuals. The whole thing is worth your time, but I want to focus on the idea that, in Michigan, we train our children to be excellent employees, but poor entrepreneurs...we're conditioning our children to what Paul Graham calls the Manager's Schedule: days divided into blocks of a single hour...not only robs them of the time to settle into and play with important ideas, but it conditions them for employment in vertically-integrated, highly structured organizations--exactly the kinds of organizations that are going to have the hardest time surviving in the 20th century...We're beginning to shift from a society that values time-management skills to one that values attention-management skills. At the same time, we're training our children to neglect deeply engaging their attention with a single subject, and instead, teaching them simply how to juggle their time."
tcsnmy  lcproject  education  learning  future  timemanagement  blockschedules  scheduling  schools  schooling  managersschedule  entrepreneurship  play  freetime  unstructuredtime  unschooling  deschooling  criticalthinking 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Lesson from a hockey player « Re-educate
"Lectures are great, class discussions are great, group projects are great. But in the schools of the future, we have to allow students time in the day that is not structured. It’s in those moments when genius is allowed to emerge."
unstructuredtime  education  tcsnmy  learning  change  plp  time  unschooling  deschooling  self-directedlearning  self-directed  lcproject 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Spotlight Vol. 8, No. 14: Playing in The Streets - Regional Plan Association
""I love New York City playgrounds, and their virtues are worthy of a completely separate essay. Still, there is a difference between a playground and a street corner. For one thing, playgrounds, with their single gate, always-latched entries and jungle gyms with rubber floors, have become cage-like and womb-like in their protectivity of children from both potential intruders and scraped knees. You have to look elsewhere for truly unstructured play. As luck would have it, my wife and I live in a converted warehouse that has some low-income housing built across from it, fronting on a barren asphalt parking lot. There are children playing in this parking lot often, virtually all of them coming from the low-income housing. These kids, ages two to 15 or so, play in a self-governing universe, without parents. By design or default, unstructured play has become the domain of the less affluent.""
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september 2009 by robertogreco
The Serious Need for Play: Scientific American
"children’s free-play time dropped by a quarter between 1981 and 1997. Concerned about getting their kids into the right colleges, parents are sacrificing playtime for more structured activities. ... a play-deprived childhood disrupts normal social, emotional and cognitive development in humans and animals. ... play also promotes the continued mental and physical well-being of adults. ... Pellegrini explains, “games have a priori rules—set up in advance and followed. Play, on the other hand, does not have a priori rules, so it affords more creative responses.” ... This creative aspect is key because it challenges the developing brain more than following predetermined rules does. In free play, kids use their imagination and try out new activities and roles"
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january 2009 by robertogreco

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